teen placementTeen placement is always a difficult question.  It can be very difficult to determine when and where to place your child in treatment.  A good place to start this evaluation is to simply make a subjective assessment of their general emotional health.  Mental or emotional health refers to ones overall psychological well-being.  It includes the way one feels about oneself, the quality of their relationships, and their ability to manage feelings and deal with difficulties.  Good emotional health isn’t just the absence of mental health problems.  Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues.  Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.  Sometimes when considering outpatient treatment parents ask themselves, “is my teen ‘bad’ enough to warrant treatment”.  But maybe we should be asking, is our teen healthy enough to stay at home and deal with life as a young adult.  Here are some of the abilities that a teen needs to live a productive life.

People who are emotionally healthy have:

  • A sense of contentment.
  • A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
  • The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
  • A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
  • The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change.
  • A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
  • The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
  • Self-confidence and high self-esteem.

These positive characteristics of mental and emotional health allow you to participate in life to the fullest extent possible through productive, meaningful activities and strong relationships. These positive characteristics also help you cope when faced with life’s challenges and stresses.